Is Minneapolis an outlier when it comes to crime?

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Fourth Precinct Commander Mike Martin

Some of Minneapolis’ top cops gathered Monday to announce the continued dip in reported violent crime and to promote city efforts they say are responsible for the decline.

Though violent crime is down in many big cities across the nation, police chief Tim Dolan says there’s something unique about Minneapolis.

Bottom line is, what you don’t see in other cities is five straight years of decline. What most are talking about is a one-year decline or a two-year decline.

Dolan says five years ago, the city began to crack down on youth violence, in part by cracking down on truancy and enforcing curfew laws. In 2006, more than half of the violent crime in the city was committed by juveniles. Now, Dolan says juvenile crime makes up 20 to 25 percent.

The MPD has also taken an aggressive stance on removing illicit firearms from the streets. So far this year, officers have recovered 137 guns. Police officials say over the last several years, police officers have collected an average of between 700-900 guns a year.

Dolan didn’t give all the credit to police officers. He says a number of city agencies, like Regulatory Services and the Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department, play an active role in assuring public safety. For example, Fourth Precinct commander Mike Martin says when he took over as the head of north Minneapolis police station in 2007, he was confronted with what to do about a bar on West Broadway Ave. that was the source of numerous police calls. Martin says Regulatory Services put the pressure on the bar’s licenses to operate. Eventually, the bar closed down and CPED helped find new ownership who would run a safer business.

Are there other factors you think have lead to the drop in crime? Or perhaps you haven’t noticed a drop in crime where you live?

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